Bullard Recalls Day "Gangster" Turned Up to Town Training
Wednesday, 21st May 2014 09:37
Former Blues midfielder Jimmy Bullard has recounted the day a debt collector paid a visit to ex-Town striker Michael Chopra at Playford Road in his new book Bend It Like Bullard, which is published on Thursday and is being serialised in the Daily Mail.
The incident, which was widely reported at the time, occurred early in the 2011/12 season and triggered the former Cardiff striker’s spell at the Sporting Chance Clinic.
“Michael Chopra was a serious gambler. So serious he owed a bunch of gangsters about £150,000,” writes Bullard, 35, who hung up his boots early in the 2012/13 season while playing for the MK Dons.
“One morning, this shifty-looking character came to training. He looked a right handy b******.
“The gaffer [Paul Jewell] called security, who moved the gangster on, but he waited across the road.
“After training, I was standing behind Chops when this bloke reappeared, grabbed Chopra by the neck and said: ‘Are you Chopra?’
“Quick as a flash, Chops replied: ‘No, it ain’t f****** me, mate, it’s him over there,’ and pointed to our left-back, Aaron Cresswell.
“‘It is you, you cheeky b******,’ said the gangster, tightening his grip. ‘Get my money back.’
“‘OK, I’ll get it,’ said Chops. The club gave him a huge loan to pay off his debts, on the condition he went into therapy for his gambling.”
Chopra, 30, left Town last summer and joined Blackpool, but after a season in which he made only six starts and 14 sub appearances and failed to score he was recently released.
Elsewhere, Swansea City are reported to be eyeing a summer move for ex-Blues loanee Jonny Williams. The Swans are claimed to be weighing-up a £4 million offer for the 20-year-old Wales international.
Photo: Action Images
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|SouperJim added 10:02 - May 21|
Nice one Jimmy, Chopra may be a "cheeky b******" but at least he wasn't a shop window waste of space on the pitch like you.
|naa added 10:10 - May 21|
SouperJim: what a completely unnecessary comment. Bullard was ace here when on loan and was never fully fit after that (as shown by his retirement soon after leaving). Even then, he managed a few decent games.
Chops was a mess the whole time he was here. Admittedly, he managed a few decent performances, but he brought a lot of grief onto the club and disrupted the team with it. I'd have Bullard out of those two any day
|Cambonbleu added 10:12 - May 21|
Whats the 1st thing you'd do if you were off to collect money from a Pro footballer? Google what he actually looks like perhaps? Spineless of Chopra to point Cressy out too, wonder what that did for team morale?!
|rayman_10 added 10:21 - May 21|
What a P. Rick trying to blame it on Cressy!! Just when I thought I couldn't hate the man anymore!
|Revie added 10:33 - May 21|
Perhaps this 'gangster' should have been taken on as a coach: he got more out of 'Chops' than any of the previous managers.
|Surco72 added 10:33 - May 21|
In the short time Bullard was here he was more entertaining than most of last seasons football . Unfortunately the gamble to sign him didn't pay off due to injury .
Highlights what a dreadful person Chopra really is though and how low the man has sunk
|SundayLeagueRef added 11:13 - May 21|
‘...it ain't f****** me, mate, it's him over there,'
I don't miss Chopra one little bit.......
If you can't stand together with your team mates, you're not a team at all - on or off the pitch. So glad things have changed for the better!
|backinbeige added 11:17 - May 21|
"“Quick as a flash, Chops replied: ‘No, it ain't f****** me, mate, it's him over there,' and pointed to our left-back, Aaron Cresswell."
That says a lot
|fussysnake added 11:35 - May 21|
Chopra is a very shallow man. glad to see the back of him.
Wonder where he'll be playing next season, if he even manages to find a club!
Probably in League 1 or 2
|The_suffolk_punch added 12:24 - May 21|
Gangster: Are you Chopra?
Chopra: No, it him oer there (points to cresswell)
Gangster: I know it's you not him because I have seen score goals!
Dear Chops, Please get help not for your gambling but for being a massive *insert rudist insult ever here*!
|carsey added 12:42 - May 21|
Frankly I think they were both a waste of space for different reasons. Neither of them delivered for the team or the club and walked away with loads of money for very little effort.
Bullard may have been entertaining but I would have preferred he got his head down and played football.
As for Chopra a more despicable character you would be hard pressed to find in any walk of life.
|WeWereZombies added 12:49 - May 21|
Astonishing... people believing what they read in the Daily Mail!!!
|WickedBlue added 13:20 - May 21|
Another ignorant comment from SouperJim. Wake me when he has some intelligent to say.
|Tractamatt added 13:29 - May 21|
Who cares about Bullard or Chopra but this means definitely no Williams next season, that's a real sickner.
|TheJam added 14:07 - May 21|
On a positive note, Maybe we can get Williams on loan from Swansea ?
|Cookycrew added 14:40 - May 21|
Jimmy Bullard brought a significant ray of sunshine, smiles, happiness & entertainment value to us poor downtrodden Portman Road faithful, during what were some really dark days at Portman Road.
He was a very talented footballer, who could both create scoring opportunites & did score some memorable goals for us during his injury-free period with us.
It is simply a shame that we did not have him here during his peak.
Rocks, Paper, Scissors anyone?
Nuff said.....I simply find myself smiling while I write this about him.....that's the effect he had on most people in the game....top bloke.
|truckerblue added 17:43 - May 21|
Jimmy played with a smile on his face even when he was played out of position once he signed for us. He should've been left in the same position he played when he was on loan for us as he was never a defensive player and jewell in his infinite (un)wisdom played him as the defensive player in his stupid diamond formation! As for chopra this really shows him for the coward he really is. Just a pathetic excuse for a human.
|runaround added 18:00 - May 21|
If it's true that Chopra tried to make the thug think Cresswell was him then I think even less of him than I did already.
It was potentially endangering the safety of a colleague for his own ends. I hope he gets his just desserts in the end as the more I hear about him the more obnoxious he seems
|whosroundisitanyway added 18:08 - May 21|
Totally agree. the most important part of this post is the future of Williams.
The rest is insignificant.
|BlueandTruesince82 added 19:52 - May 21|
What a piece of work though, how jublient were we at the pridpect of his arrival? How supportive were we of him? Its clear he's just a nasty man in need of help
|SouperJim added 09:43 - May 22|
My point is, they are both utter mercenaries (in Bullards case, as recently reinforced by being PAID to appear in a CHARITY match, then not bothering to turn up). At least Chopra made a positive impact on the pitch while he was under contract, Bullard did very little once his pay cheque was secured. But of course, Jimmy is a "cheeky chappy" so he has an army of apologists ready to blissfully ignore the fact that he is a miserable excuse for a human being.
Thank god we now have a manager who steers well clear of bad apples.
|BlueandTruesince82 added 14:18 - May 22|
Jim, are you sure you were watching Chopra. He was Pony, a shadow of player he once was, due mostly one suspects to worring about his debt. He cant of been great for team bonding either, at least Jimmys presence had a good impact. He always stuck a smile on my face. Jimny made an impact whenever he was fit, sadly alot of the time he wasn't
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